Mining pools are protocols where multiple miners combine their resources to maximise the number of blocks that can be solved and then split the earnings based on their contribution. The greatest advantage of mining via a pool rather than solo mining is that the combined power of multiple mining rigs increases the chances of finding blocks.
Mining pools also offer greater redundancy and up-time as the pools run on multiple servers, which are often located on different continents. There are many mining pools available for miners to join, some focusing on a specific currency and some allowing miners to mine for multiple currencies.
Ethermine vs Nanopool
Nanopool is a multi-currency pool where miners can choose which currency they wish to mine, including Ethereum, Monero, Bitcoin and Z-Cash. Ethermine as the name suggests is a single currency pool focusing on the mining of Ether. Both pools offer Ethereum and Ethereum Classic mining. To ensure we are comparing like with like, we will focus on only the Ethereum pool within Nanopool for the rest of this discussion.
Both Ethermine and Nanopool pay miners based on the PPLNS reward system (Pay Per Last N Shares) which includes a luck factor in the calculations but on average pays out 5% more than rewards calculated on the PPS system. Ethermine pays out on all rewards, including uncles and payments are done instantly based on a minimum account balance. Nanopool pays out several times a day based on a minimum balance and also pays for uncles. Both Ethermine and Nanopool charge a fee of 1% for being a part of the pool.
Ethermine had a higher hashrate than Nanopool at 69.9 Th./s versus 41.8 Th./s. The hashrate of the pool is the amount of power it is using to find blocks and solve them so the higher the hashrate of the pool, the more blocks it is finding to be solved, which is evident in the average number of blocks each pool solves per hour (Ethermine: 79 and Nanopool: 45). At the time of writing, the number of active miners in the Ethermine pool is 141,614 and eth.nanopool has 96,782.
Ethermine has servers in East and West USA, France and Singapore ensuring 24-hour uptime and full backup and redundancy. Nanopool also offers full backup and uptime and has servers in Japan, Australia, Asia, East and West USA and in two locations in Europe.
The support offered by both these mining pools is good and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Statistics on the network hashrate, blocks mined and number of miners as well as individual statistics per miner is available on both sites.
Ethermine vs. Nanopool: Final Thoughts
The most important criteria when deciding which mining pool to join is to identify what is important to you and what your expectations are. Do you want to mine only one currency, what payment method is best for you and how much are you prepared to pay in fees? It is beneficial to look at all the options before making an informed decision.